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Managing Your Digital Advertising Budget During Uncertain Times

Apr 2nd 2020

Over the past few weeks, the #1 question we’ve received from businesses is how they should adjust their advertising campaigns and spend.

We know that every company is different. There’s not going to be a simple answer that aligns with everyone’s response to uncharted territory or accounts for differences in starting budget allocations. Businesses need to custom-fit their digital advertising strategy and spend based on their operations at this time. However, for companies currently running advertising campaigns, it’s our general recommendation that demand-based campaigns and low-funnel audiences should be prioritized. Here are a few tips for managing your ad spend during the coronavirus outbreak.

Direct the Majority of Ad Spend to Demand-Based Advertising

If you’re not already focusing the majority of your ad spend on demand-based advertising campaigns, you’ll want to make that shift today. Almost all (if not all) of your ad spend be directed to demand-based campaigns like search advertising. Search is a highly effective form of demand-based advertising because your ads are shown only to users who are actively searching online for the products and services that you’re selling. Ads are only shown to people who are demonstrating they are in-market and ready-to-buy by performing low-funnel searches. And, because search ads are pay-per-click, you only pay when these shoppers click on your ads. 

People are venturing out only for essentials during this time; however, there are still people online shopping and researching future purchases. Demand-based advertising will help capture your remaining online audience by bringing leads to your website from these low-funnel searches.

Use Push Advertising Only to Target Low-Funnel Audiences

Display, social, and video are examples of push advertising. Targeting for these efforts can be similar to demand-based advertising, where ads are only shown to people who intentionally search or show interest. These low-funnel efforts include tactics like remarketing and in-market audiences; however, display, social, and video can also be used to target higher funnel shoppers through managed placements, affinity, and demographic targeting.

During a more typical month, we recommend dedicating 10-15% of your total digital advertising budget to display and social. Today, we recommend reallocating the majority of that spend to fund search, which should be your main lead generation channel during this time. At the bare minimum, display, social, and video campaigns should remain funded enough to target low funnel audiences through remarketing or in-market audience targeting.

It’s worth noting that during stay-at-home guidelines, a large percentage of your audience will turn to social media to pass the time. While this is the case, you still want to prioritize fully funding your search efforts before moving up the funnel to target users on social and other non-search platforms. For businesses who have the budget and are seeing an opportunity to scoop up additional market share, targeting audiences across all platforms is the way to do it. That being said, always make sure you’re targeting the lowest-funnel audiences first. These low-funnel audiences will yield the greatest ROI most often.

We’re Here to Help

Narrowing the scope of your digital advertising to demand-based campaigns and low-funnel targeting will ensure you’re matching the search demand that’s still in your market. Things are moving quickly, so continue to monitor daily results and adjust your strategy and spend allocation as needed 

If you have any questions about adjusting your digital marketing strategy or ad spend, use the resource hub, contact your Digital Advertising Strategist, or reach out directly. We can work quickly to turn around campaign changes and budget reallocations. We’re here for you and will continue to partner hard to help your business succeed.


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